Acciona Power Plant Hydrogen Mitigation Project

Greg Glatzmaier

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


In 2014, Acciona Solar Power and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory initiated discussions to identify a method to solve a long-standing efficiency loss problem at parabolic trough power plants. Parabolic trough power plants begin to show lost thermal efficiency after six years of operation, due to the presence of trace concentrations of hydrogen in the heat transfer fluid that circulates in the power plant. Trace levels of hydrogen infiltrate the collector field receivers, increasing their heat loss, and decreasing the power plants’ thermal efficiency. At the time, Acciona’s Nevada Solar One power plant in Boulder City, Nevada was starting to show this efficiency loss.After several discussions, APS and NREL agreed to a collaborative effort (CRADA) to develop and implement a method to reduce hydrogen levels in the circulating HTF at the NSO power plant. The project was planned as a three-year effort, and work started in June 2015. The CRADA’s goal was to solve the long-standing lost efficiency problem caused by the buildup of hydrogen in the HTF, which significantly impacts the efficiency, electricity generation, and revenue from parabolic trough power plants.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages82
StatePublished - 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5500-73168


  • Acciona
  • APS
  • concentrating solar power
  • CSP
  • heat transfer fluid
  • trough


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